EXPLORE MICHIGAN: Touring the state’s Capitol building

Explore Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– “It was created to be a monument to the people of Michigan.”

Cambray Sampson is the education coordinator at Michigan’s capitol building.

She provides tours and her goal is to educate people of all ages about the rich history of the capitol building.

“Talking again about that history, about the way the building was built, and how ended up here in Lansing. If the governor is not in the building we can show people into the office, talk a little bit about what the governor does and also what governors have done in the past as well,” said Sampson.

The tour of the Capitol covers a lot more than just the building.

For example, did you know the original capitol building was located in Detroit? And the current building is the third building to house the state’s Capitol?

“They used what was the territorial courthouse at the time so we’re in there for 10 years, the 10 years passes and we have to decide where is the new Capitol going to be. And there’s a lot of cities that want to be the Capitol, places like Ann Arbor, Jackson, Albion, Marshall, and Mason.”

Ultimately they compromised on Lansing because it was more in the middle of the state.

Sampson says it’s important for people to interact with their local government and for them to really know their facts.

“There have been generations of people who have put a lot of work into this building and into the things that happen in this building and to be able to give people a little bit of an idea of all of that work that has actually gone into the building whether it’s the architecture the construction of the building, the decorative paint, or that legislation that helps us run and operate our state. So much work has gone into that, it’s really good to be able to share that with people and have people really understand how much work went into that,” Sampson said.

The Michigan Capitol also offers virtual tours Monday through Friday until 4:00 p.m. if you can’t make it to Lansing.

But after the pandemic shut down tours, Sampson says it’s great to see people’s faces again.

“This is the people’s building so it’s great to have people come in and see their building.”

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